Lifting C semantics for dataflow optimization

Research paper by our partner ETHZ, accepted at the ICS ’22 International Conference on Supercomputing that took place online from 28 to 30 June 2022.


C is the lingua franca of programming and almost any device can be programmed using C. However, programming modern heterogeneous architectures such as multi-core CPUs and GPUs requires explicitly expressing parallelism as well as device-specific properties such as memory hierarchies. The resulting code is often hard to understand, debug, and modify for different architectures. We propose to lift C programs to a parametric dataflow representation that lends itself to static data-centric analysis and enables automatic high-performance code generation. We separate writing code from optimizing for different hardware: simple, portable C source code is used to generate efficient specialized versions with a click of a button. Our approach can identify parallelism when no other compiler can, and outperforms a bespoke parallelized version of a scientific proxy application by up to 21%.


Alexandru Calotoiu, Tal Ben-Nun, Grzegorz Kwasniewski, Johannes de Fine Licht, Timo Schneider, Philipp Schaad, Torsten Hoefler (ETHZ)

DOI: 10.1145/3524059.3532389